December 25, 2011

The difference a year makes...

I mentioned in a previous post how crazy busy we’ve been around here and I’m sure everyone who hears that just rolls their eyes and thinks, “Yeah, like you’re the only one!” Of course I don’t think I’m the only one who has ever found themselves running around frantically trying to catch up at every turn, but I do feel I’ve been given an extra challenge lately that is leaving me a bit stretched to capacity.  That’s ok though, I really wouldn’t want it any other way! 

Not only have the days, weeks and months been passing us by, but with each week we’ve come closer to the season I’ve dreaded so much - HOLIDAYS!  Our World changed for us last holiday season just before Thanksgiving and I’m still in the process of learning how to cope with this new journey in a very different World.  And if that wasn’t physically and emotionally time consuming enough we’ve been keeping a secret and that can be hard work in itself!  Sure a few people we are close to knew, but for the most part we had kept everything very quite and were just moving along until the time felt right to share with our extended family, friends, and now anyone who might be reading this blog.  I’ll skip to the chase and share the personal message we shared a little over a month ago…
On this day, November 18th, of last year we learned the devastating news about Stella's health and her struggle to survive and make it out in to this World.  A year has passed and Stella's 1st birthday is now only 5 weeks away on December 23rd.  It's been an extremely difficult year full of challenges learning how to navigate the World without my daughter, and as we move closer to this holiday season the anniversary of Stella's birth, day to day life will be very painful.

Last year we suddenly cancelled our Thanksgiving plans after receiving the news of Stella condition, however this year we have renewed hope and much to be thankful for.  For one thing, I didn't pass away with Stella and that is something to be extremely grateful for every day!  It has allowed us to continue on and honor Stella's short life and big spirit in any way possible.  Now Stella is a big sister in the making!  Yes, you read correctly!  Trey and I are expecting and have been growing a little "Sprout" for 18 weeks, so we hope to meet our baby around April 20, 2012.  Yesterday we had our big targeted ultrasound and learned that Sprout's heart appears healthy and is growing ahead of schedule.  Two very different findings from what we learned about Stella just a year ago!  Not only did yesterday's ultrasound go very well, but we received results a couple of weeks ago from our Genetic Counselor that Sprout's risk of a chromosomal defect is very, very slim; 1:10,000!  And, for all of you who are dying to know ... Sprout is a GIRL!!! 

We are extremely happy, but I am also very scared of what may be waiting for me down the path.  With all this good news at this point we are just trying our best to enjoy and think about a happy and healthy future.  This will undoubtedly become more difficult as we move closer to the holidays and we miss sharing what should be Stella's 1st Thanksgiving, birthday party and Christmas. 

I want to be clear with everyone that even though we have a new child growing Stella will always be our first baby and hold a significant place in our hearts!  Sprout will not replace the pain we have endured, nor take Stella's place in any way, so please don't assume our hearts are healed or forget her importance in our lives. 

We wish you all a Happy Holiday Season full of love and peace!!

With love,
Shelby & Trey
You may be wondering why we’ve kept this wonderful news so hush, hush until now?  Well, I can tell you there are a number of reasons I could list, but I’ll just be as honest and blunt as possible … I’ve been too scared!  I’ve been terrified something awful would happen to this baby, Sprout, as soon as I opened my mouth to share the news.  I’ve also been scared I would loose some of the connections I’ve developed over the last year with so many strong, caring Baby Loss Mommas.  I’ve worried they would turn their backs on me and kick me out of the one club no one ever wanted to be part of in the first place, yet now I find myself desperately wanting and needing to know that I am still an accepted member.  It may sound crazy, but these fellow Mommas have become an important part of my life and I value their opinions, suggestions and the strength needed to get through each day.  Hopefully this news won’t turn off any potential readers because, I gotta tell ya, being pregnant again after a loss is probably just as hard as going through the loss in the first place!  Sure, it’s a totally different experience, but the emotional roller coaster is practically the same! 

I hope you all can wish Sprout and I well, but as a Baby Loss Momma I can also understand the pain of knowing some one else is pregnant while we will never be able to hold our precious babies we’ve lost ever again.  And there in lies the never ending conflict of emotions of a pregnancy after a loss!  

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